Frequently Asked Questions
Going-to-the-Sun Road (take me there)
When will the Going-to-the-Sun Road open?
Portions of the Going-to-the-Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities. Due to the ongoing Going-to-the-Sun rehabilitation project, the Going-to-the-Sun Road will not open in its entirety prior to June 19, 2015. When the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens for the season in its entirety, it will be open for 2-way thru traffic. Continuing construction work can cause travel delays up to 30 minutes (beautiful scenery to see while you wait). Currently, there are sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road open for travel and enjoyment. Please check our road status page for the sections of road that are open.
What if I have more questions about the Going-to-the-Sun Road?
Camping (take me there)
What does it mean when a campground is in Primitive Status?
Do the campgrounds have showers?
Does someone check me in at the campgrounds? How do I find a campsite?
In Fish Creek and St. Mary Campgrounds (our reservation campgrounds), you will be checked in at the kiosk. If you come after hours, your information and site number will be posted at the kiosk window. If you are camping at our first come/first serve sites, stop at the fee station and pick up a fee envelope, proceed into the campground and find an available campsite. Place your fee envelope in the fee tube within a ½ hour of picking your site. Credit cards are accepted at our campgrounds, with the exception of Cutbank Campground.
Can I make reservations for an auto campground?
We have a large group of campers, do you have group sites? Can you reserve these group campsites?
How do I know how early I need to show up for a first come, first serve campsite?
Are campgrounds open year round?
Do you have any generator-free campsites?
Yes, Sprague Creek Campground, Loop C in Fish Creek Campground, sites 49-84 in the Rising Sun Campground, sites 86-100 in the Many Glacier Campground and sites 1-36 in the Two Medicine Campground.
While camping, where do I store food to keep it safe from wildlife?
All food, caught fish, trash, and any equipment used to cook, serve, or store food must be stored securely at all times (except when these items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption). Safe places include sealed in a vehicle or solid, non-pliable camping unit. Most campgrounds have NPS designated storage lockers and bearproof trash cans available as well.
For backcountry campsites, secure by suspending from any NPS designated food hanging device or in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) approved bear resistant container.
Ranger-led activities (take me there)
Do you have Ranger-led activities?
When do you update your Ranger-led Activity Schedule?
At the beginning of each month, we will upload the schedule for the next segment of activities. Please see the previous year's schedule for an idea of the types of activities offered and when they might occur. (This is to be used just as a planning reference.)
Is there a cost for your Ranger-led activities?
Boat trips that include a Ranger-guided hike and some of the Native America Speaks programs have a cost associated with them. Please see our Ranger-led Activities Schedule for details on cost.
Do you need reservations for Ranger-led activities?
You do not need a reservation on most of our Ranger-led activities, however, there are a few cases when advance planning would be prudent. The hikes associated with a boat tour do tend to fill up quickly, so you may want to make reservations with Glacier Park Boat Co. for a boat ticket by calling (406) 257-2426. You should make reservations for the International Peace Park hike as it has a space limit of 35 people. You can add pre-register at the St. Mary Visitor Center (406-732-7750) or the Waterton Lakes Visitor Centre in Waterton (403-859-5133). and you can add your name to that list at any of the visitor centers. There is a fee for the return boat trip back to Canada.
Hiking (take me there)
When do your trails open?
Is hiking the Highline Trail scary?
There are portions of the trail that have exposure, the most noticeable beginning one hundred yards or so from the trailhead at Logan Pass. The trail can be 3-5 feet wide in places. There is a hand cable available for about 50 yards. The Highline Trail is a gorgeous trail and provides access to the high country's stunning scenery.
When does the Ptarmigan Tunnel open?
Trail crews attempt to open the tunnel around the second week of July, depending on snow conditions. If you have a scheduled backpack trip and are coming around that time, it is advisable to call or check in at a visitor center or ranger station upon arrival.
When can I hike all the way to Grinnell Glacier?
Portions of the trail are accessible to hiking, but the trail is not completely accessible to Grinnell Glacier until late July when trail crew staff, and melting snow, open higher portions of the trail.
St. Mary to Many Glacier Valley: 20 miles, 30-40 minutes